Los Angeles Airbnb Nightmare Forces Guest Out

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I booked a trip in Los Angeles and when I arrived the Airbnb was not as it was on the site. First off, there were homeless people hanging out on the staircase; I had to ask if I could pass to go up the stairs. They obviously slept there. The whole staircase stunk of urine.

Going into the apartment was a shock as the place was so dirty and dusty; they even left us a present in the toilet: a nice big poo. There were stains on all the furniture and thick dust everywhere. In addition, we could not use the aircon as the plug socket was off the wall. The host said it worked.

I drove six hours to come here. I had to spend another $300 on another hotel. I stayed in the property thirty minutes before leaving and opened a case straight away on the 29th of last month. I asked for a refund. Every time I messaged Airbnb they kept fobbing me off.

It’s been two weeks now and I’m still waiting for a refund. They keep passing my claim around in order not to pay it I’m guessing. I’ve also read other stories of similar experiences in which they keep passing the claim around in order not to pay it. I paid $300 for two nights yet I didn’t stay here. I provided pictures and they still don’t want to help me. I will never book through Airbnb again.

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Left Airbnb Early to Escape Disgusting Property

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When arriving at our accommodation after a very long flight, we saw the property hadn’t been cleaned. We contacted the host by telephone and he sent the cleaner in. She told us that it would only take her a half hour to clean.

When we came back all she had done was put some clean towels and made the mattress that was on the floor (no actual bed). We had to book into a hotel for our last few days of our trip at an extra cost to ourselves. We would have checked out sooner but we couldn’t find a place to stay at short notice.

This decision was due to the lack of cleanliness and mice infestation. There were mouse droppings and urine on the kitchen work surfaces and floor every day. The last straw was the appearance of some kind of cockroach which we had to kill. We were unable to sit on the sofa due to it not being fit.

The tap in the kitchen leaks water every time you turn it on, most of the lights don’t have bulbs that work, the toilet seat is old and dirty with the lacquer peeling off, the fridge has brown ice forming thick at the top (unfit for use), there are mouse traps that are not even in use making them pointless, the carpets are frayed and dirty, and the paintwork is dirty. We don’t want to touch the handrails which are wobbly and dangerous, and the bed advertised is not a bed; it’s a mattress on the floor. There was no mention of restricted headroom in the bedroom. The soap was dirty and used. There was a smell of gas. I have taken photos that I have attached. The property was dirty, tatty, tired and it smelt. As for the dishwasher, it was filthy with a moldy plate in it.

We found it really difficult to contact Airbnb whilst in NYC and their terms for resolution were that you had to complain within 24 hours of arrival. They also state that you must not contact the host directly with any problems and it must go thorough Airbnb, which is easier said than done. Of the £1026.00 that we paid Airbnb offered us:

I’m your case manager from Airbnb, I hope you are doing fine. Thanks for contacting us regarding your reservation. I’m sorry to see the condition of the accommodation you stayed at. I have gone over your refund request, and even though not all conditions have been met according to our Guest refund policy, I do think it is fair that you receive a refund after seeing the pictures that you made. After considering, I have refunded you one night and 50% of the cleaning fee, for a total of £167.19. This amount has been sent to your card and you will receive a confirmation email about this shortly. Please let me know if you have any further questions for me. Wishing you a nice day.

My Experience with Airbnb? Deplorable

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I have been dealing with this Airbnb situation over the past two weeks. I have spoken with about ten call staff and five different supervisors/managers, each of whom has said that they would call me back, but there has been no follow through.

I have been on hold for 30 minutes at a time waiting to be transferred to a supervisor. I have had my calls disconnected (dropped) four times after waiting at length for a supervisor to come on the phone and, when calls were dropped, I received no callback. This situation has been frustrating to say the least.

My reservation was from May 4 to May 13 in West Hollywood. I sent Airbnb a number of pictures that I took of the rental.

Please note, there was mold and mildew all over the bathrooms and kitchen (I am an infectious disease epidemiologist by training and it was definitely a health hazard; the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and Housing Safety should be notified). The walls and paint were cracked and chipping throughout the house. The floors were dirty. There was rotten food in the kitchen sink and on the countertops. There was mold growing all over the AC unit.

Throughout the home was a thick coat of dust across most surfaces. The place was filthy. Even more alarming, there were electrical wires hanging out from the baseboards – a huge violation with the Los Angeles building and safety authority.

We walked into this rental, and spent ten minutes looking around and taking pictures. I immediately called Airbnb and spoke with a representative and was transferred to a supervisor. The gentleman asked me to email him pictures of the house, so I sent the pictures to him. He told me and my friend that was with me (on speaker phone), verbatim: “These pictures are enough to justify a full refund since the place is definitely a health risk and is absolutely not in the condition of what was advertised.”

As you can see from the pictures, there was mold, mildew and rotting food. All very concerning for me, since I had recently had major surgery the week before. After the Airbnb supervisor told me that he would ensure that I receive a full refund for every dollar spent (my friends heard him tell me this on speaker phone), we locked the house, put the key back in the lockbox, and checked into the Andaz Hotel (also in West Hollywood), which cost me double the price of this Airbnb rental.

Unfortunately I had no other options, as all the listings that I would have considered staying at from Airbnb were no longer available and booked by other guests. As such, I have had to pay over $4,000 in hotel fees for this time period. I also had to pay $100 in cab expenses getting to the Airbnb rental and then to the Andaz Hotel. This has caused me considerable loss, both in terms of actual cash, but also in terms of time spent dealing with the situation (an estimated five hours of time lost).

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Infestation = $9 Refund on a $750 Charge

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My current Airbnb is not at all as described: there has been a carpenter ant infestation for the past week and a half where there are literally hundreds of them in the kitchen on the floor, shelves, and cabinets. I have been unable to cook because of it. In addition, there are cockroaches in the hallway and stairs.

The house is very dirty and under maintained overall. Many of the photos do not match the description. For example, there is supposed to be a “garden” in the yard but it is overrun with old chairs, wood planks, construction material, and leaf debris. The pool is empty, the “library” is a shelf with books covered in dust with broken glass on the floor (no joke), and the stove does not work as it was promised to be fixed on day two of my stay.

My host claims fees such as laundry or A/C are separate but in the description they were said to be included. I disputed this to Airbnb and I was switched to three different case managers in the process. They refused to give me a refund, and I left my Airbnb early (more like as soon as I possibly could). My Airbnb was $17/night. I left a full four days early and got back nine dollars in total.

The reason they dismissed my case is because the host provided “alternate photos” of dishes being left out, claiming this to be the cause for the hundreds of ants and cockroaches. My roommate and I never cooked in the kitchen because of the bugs; we wasted so much money on eating out because it was too disgusting to cook in there.

The son who lived in the house and used our kitchen always left dishes out – they were not ours. A few dishes does not result in the infestation of hundreds of vermin: only months of neglect, water damage, unfixed holes and leaks, and vile conditions will result in this. Absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been in touch with Airbnb and they immediately sided with the host.

Host Took Advantage of Airbnb and Guests

We found a place in Boston for the Charles River Regatta. The city was extremely crowded that weekend so we took one of the few places left. Once we made contact with the host via Airbnb, he contacted us via phone to say he could save us the deposit fee but that we had to discontinue our quest for his place through Airbnb. So we did.

His place was an absolute dump. He slept on his couch and we slept in his room. He had two other guests in another bedroom and we all shared the same bathroom. There were many unsavory issues about this place: the cat sleeping on top of the coffee maker; not being allowed to use our own soap; one bar was shared by all five people.

The fact that Airbnb thought we had turned down this particular place meant that we could not leave any comment on the site to warn other people. Our host made a very pretty penny that weekend and honestly, I’m extremely hesitant to use Airbnb again.

Shared House Meant Nowhere to Poop

My boyfriend and I booked an Airbnb in a neighbouring town for one night so that we could attend a wedding and have somewhere nearby to crash. The lady we communicated with seemed nice and the room we booked seemed clean and modern.

We arrived at a big house in a sleepy neighbourhood and knocked on the door. Nobody answered for quite a while and finally a young man came to the door and initially didn’t know why we were standing there. This was clearly not the lady we had originally talked to. When we explained we were guests for one night he let us in, showed us the room upstairs we would be staying in, and gave us the keys. I think he was another long-term guest at the house who was told how to greet us, but there was a bit of a language barrier.

After a bit of awkwardness, we settled in and got ourselves ready for the wedding. Other than not really having any storage or surfaces to put things down on, as the room was basically just a bed, nothing was out of the ordinary. We also had access to a bathroom through the suite that we shared with another bedroom.

After a lovely wedding, we arrived back at the suite tired and a little tipsy so we immediately went to bed. In the middle of the night I woke up needing to use the bathroom. I headed towards the door and found that it was locked. I realized that the other guest must have locked me out while using the bathroom that night and forgotten to unlock the door on our side.

Since it was the middle of the night and I needed to go bad I had no idea what to do. We had not explored the rest of the house at all before we left for the wedding. Desperate, I went downstairs towards the kitchen area to see if I could find a bathroom nearby. Fortunately, I did find one but what I came across was a nightmare. I couldn’t believe how bad my luck was stumbling upon a bathroom like this one, and I have no idea who was using such a neglected bathroom like this.

First of all, the toilet was plugged up. Luckily there was a plunger present and after a few tries I managed to unclog it. When I went to do my business I realized I couldn’t find toilet paper anywhere, so I was left in a lurch. In fact there was nothing at all in terms of toiletries in the whole bathroom, so I had nothing to wash my hands with either.

After this disgusting experience I crawled back up to the bedroom to wait out the rest of the night. As you can imagine, I recounted my horror story to my boyfriend and we got out of there pretty quickly in the morning. We didn’t really have a choice as the bathroom upstairs was still locked.

After this experience I am not sure whether I will use Airbnb ever again. We didn’t realize we would be staying in a house with multiple units that was so neglected by the host and the tenants that lived there. Even if the place looks nice you never know what you’re going to get until you see for yourself. This kind of experience just wouldn’t happen at a hotel. We picked this place because it was very affordable but ultimately you get what you pay for.

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Airbnb for Business Trip, Never Again

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I often choose Airbnb for both personal and business trips, having faced a range of experiences. But this last trip called for an end to the use of Airbnb for business trips for me.

I booked two nights in Paris, in a small apartment next to my meeting location. The check-in scheduled at 3:00 PM went okay (the sitter texted me the code to enter the building and left the key under the mat). On the mat were also a used coffee pod and pieces from the wrapping from an ice cream cone that I decided to pick up and put in the garbage inside.

The surprise was when I entered the apartment… I have seen accommodations from sparkling clean to a bit dirty but this was a nightmare. Some of the highlights: the rest of the ice cream paper was inside on the floor, next to an overflowing garbage can. Dirty dishes were in the sink, etc.

I went to the bedroom to drop my bag and realized the bed (which seemed to have been made) had dust everywhere on it and several large stains (of what I think was blood). There was also a cigarette butt on the floor of the bedroom.

The bathroom next door had a disposable razor on the floor, a full garbage can with what looked like blood from used tampons dripping on its inside, a very dirty (grey) towel (that used to be white) on the floor. It was the same story everywhere, including Chinese food in the microwave that smelled very bad – it could have been there for days. The same food was also on parts of the inner sides of the microwave. There was old food in the fridge, a dirty toilet, etc. I don’t think that my own apartment ever been that dirty, even as a student.

It was clear I could not sleep there so I contacted the Airbnb sitter, who quickly apologized and said the cleaning people have probably not cleaned the place yet. I was actually okay with it (it happens) and said I was going out so the cleaning people could do it then. I came back over an hour later, and nothing. I texted again the sitter, asked if he could follow-up with the cleaning people, etc.

I also decided to send a formal message (not only SMS) to the host to describe this, and to contact Airbnb customer service. The customer service was fairly quick to respond and said they would help. Their help was basically to try to negotiate with the host that things got cleaned. After that, I kept chasing customer service for actual action until they just stopped following up.

In short, they have done nothing for me that helped. The cleaning person came around 6:00 PM (three hours after the check-in; there was nobody staying the night before, by the way), and did the bulk of it but still left the apartment in a state that is worse than any Airbnb apartment I had stayed in before (full garbage left, dirt and waste under the bed and in every corner, microwave not cleaned, etc).

However, I had clean bedsheets and towels and decided to stay as it was 8:00 PM in Paris and moving anywhere would both cost me a lot of money and also be hard to arrange. Generally, the sitter was responsive but blamed the cleaning company.

I never met or heard from the host (something more and more worrying in the Airbnb system). Airbnb customer service did not look for another accommodation (something I asked at first) and never offered any compensation. They never responded to my last messages. This impacted the only half-day of non-business time I had in Paris.

So this is it for me. No more business trips on Airbnb. Between difficult check-in, last-minute cancellations risks and this latest experience, I’ll get back to hotels for that.

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Dirty Airbnb Hell in St. Petersburg, Florida

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We stayed at this Florida home for Christmas 2018. We walked in and the house seemed grand.

When unloading our kitchen items, we discovered that the countertops had not been cleaned and there was food and crumbs everywhere. The kitchen floor was disgusting. It had clearly not been washed in months (or more). There was even a condom on the kitchen floor.

After going upstairs, we noticed that there was only a bed in each bedroom: no dresser, night table, nothing. We were forced to put our luggage on the floor. Upon inspection of the bathrooms, there was hair everywhere, toothpaste on the sink, piss on the toilets, and even a fake fingernail lying about. It was so gross.

We were forced to go to the store and buy cleaning supplies and clean before we even felt comfortable staying there. With that done, we inspected the beds. The sheets had clearly not been washed as there were pubes and other hair on the sheets. It’s sickening just writing this.

All of the sheets and comforters had to be washed before even using them. The sheets were about the thickness of Kleenex and the “comforters” were basically disgusting scratchy blankets. For all of this, the host thought that $100 was fair compensation for my purchases and trouble.

The house was billed as having a heated pool. The pool was in no way heated and when asked about this, the host stated that the pump had to run the next day to heat it. What a joke – that is not how a pool is heated. I have noticed that this amenity is no longer listed.

There isn’t even any furniture to sit outside on. Another joke. Upon inspection of the piece of furniture, the living area had a nasty sectional couch. Well wouldn’t you know, numerous condoms were underneath the cushions – this was bad.

We left a few hanging clothes behind that the host promised to send me. He kept making excuses why he couldn’t send them, then finally stopped responding all together. Airbnb won’t even respond to me.

Guests Damage Stove and Leave Place Filthy

I hosted a couple last summer. I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling but then decided to host them because they assured me it was just a vacation to see a concert and they were quiet and respectful. Well, that was a complete lie. It was evident upon my arrival when the guests checked out very early and ignored my messages when I asked them what time they would be checking out so I could meet them for my keys.

I decided to go over myself to see what was going on. They had checked out early clearly to evade me. I could not believe the mess and disgusting smells they left behind. They damaged my stove, which is a vintage gas stove. I messaged them confronting the violations of my rules. There was no answer; all I could do was warn others and leave a bad review.

I contacted Airbnb with a lot of photos they said I need to provide more information and invoices. I told them I cannot afford to fix my stove. I tried to get a quote but it was very difficult finding a vintage stove repair company and expensive. I kept up with Airbnb but they decided to ignore me. I told them I contacted the guest directly and they kept ignoring me.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help. Airbnb needs to toughen up on guests violating house rules and damaging property. This is, after all, our home. We choose to share it with others.

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The Type of Cleanliness Airbnb Endorses

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I took my husband mountain bike riding in Rotorua for his birthday. We booked an apartment in downtown Rotorua. We arrived at our accommodation and the apartment was filthy.

The toilet had poo on the seat and lid, and the shower had scum all over the screen and tiles. There were dirty marks on the floor, the microwave door was filthy, the button to open the microwave had a big dirty mark, and there were dirty sheets shoved in the wardrobes.

I called the host back, showed him the issues and said this wasn’t acceptable. He tried to tell me the apartment was clean. I then showed him the poo on the toilet seat and lid. He got a wet cloth – no detergent or disinfectant – and tried to wipe the poo off. The apartment had clearly not be cleaned. He didn’t offer to clean nor have the apartment cleaned.

I took this up with Airbnb and first they rejected my refund because they deemed this as a cancellation, even though we had been in the apartment with the host. The next excuse was the host tried to rectify the situation. Finally, Airbnb advised they deemed this as low severity. Their policy clearly states the premises need to be clean and sanitary. Please see the photos which Airbnb endorsed in their guest policy.